US request to close Chinese Consulate General in Houston 'political provocation': Chinese embassy
The US government's request to close the Chinese Consulate General in Houston is "a political provocation," and "an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-US relations," said the Chinese embassy in the United States on Wednesday.
"The US abruptly demanded that the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston cease all operations and events within a time limit. It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US," said the embassy in a statement.
"China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-US relations," the embassy said, noting that China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs.
Over the years, Chinese diplomatic missions in the United States, including the Consulate General in Houston, have been performing duties in strict accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and are dedicated to promoting China-US exchanges and cooperation and advancing the two peoples' mutual understanding and friendship, it said.
"The US accusations are groundless fabrications, and the excuses it cites are far-fetched and untenable. For the US side, if it is bent on attacking China, it will never be short of excuses," it said.
As for reciprocity, China has been providing facilitation for US diplomatic missions and personnel pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the embassy said.
"In contrast, the US imposed unjustified restrictions on Chinese diplomatic personnel last October and in June, unscrupulously and repeatedly opened China's diplomatic pouches and seized China's official goods," it said.
"Because of the willful and reckless stigmatization and fanning up of hatred by the US side, the Chinese Embassy in the US has received threats to the safety and security of Chinese diplomatic missions and personnel more than once," it said.
The US side has more diplomatic and consular missions and personnel in China than China has in the United States, another area where the principle of reciprocity is not reflected. "The move of the US side will only backfire on itself," said the embassy.
"We urge the US side to immediately revoke this erroneous decision. Otherwise, China will have to respond with legitimate and necessary actions," it said.